Cat career hopes.

I’m 31. I’ve never really figured out what to do with my life, I thought that at some point it would just dawn on me. It hasn’t. Except maybe it has, but maybe it’s too late.

I’ve written about this before, but my desire has reawakened watching the new season of My Cat From Hell. I’d make an awesome cat behaviorist. I KNOW cats. This seems to be my only choice as far as cat-related careers. I don’t have the patience nor the desire to be a groomer, my heart hurts too much to work at a rescue organization, and there is NO FREAKING WAY I could do anything vet-related because I would cry. All the time.

Oh, behave.

Oh, behave.

Cat behavior? I can do that. It’s about the human element anyway, and who loves telling people what do to more than I do? I’m passionate, I’m intuitive, and I’d be helping kitties. And make bank (one cat behaviorist charges $250 for a phone consultation).

But I’m super stuck on how to do this. I googled my ass off. It seems my only options are 1) go to school for vet stuff (there’s no degree for cat behavior) or 2) start emailing every single cat behaviorist I can find to find an apprenticeship. Except there don’t seem to be any around here.

So what happens when you think you’ve found your life’s calling but can’t make it work? The only other thing that I think I’d love to do is be an NTSB investigator. I’m obsessed with aircraft crashes. I have been as long as I can remember. And I love flying. My dad’s a pilot. I’ve been flying since I was in the womb. I have some hours under my belt. I’m fascinated with how accidents happen. But it seems that is a little out of my reach as well. I’d have to finish getting my pilot’s license, probably get some degrees in aeronautics, you know, easy stuff.

Anyone have any advice? I’m a smart girl, but I have little drive, probably because I rely on my brain to skate through. Maybe it’s time I get my hands dirty. But how?cat reflections


  1. aimee

    I have lots (and lots) of opinions about careers since I seem to be unable to commit to something unless I truly LOVE what I am doing (i.e. working with animals.) I loved working in the shelter environment…I worked primarily in a fundraising role but got to do just about everything and I was not above schlepping shit with the best of them. I have also really enjoyed working in veterinary medicine. And, although there are moments when you want to cry, most of the experiences are positive…you can really change someone’s life and their pet’s life in the numerous educational moments that pop up during conversations. I am excited to return to veterinary medicine (more info to come in future posts) and encourage you to consider exploring some vet/shelter work. I also say – without a doubt – if you want to get involved with cat behavioral science, you need to seek out an internship or a mentor situation. Too bad you’re not in SW Florida…I have lots of amazing friends down there connected to the animal world. Keep us posted. I am rooting for you, girl!

    • MEOWhearthis

      I cry when I see stray cats looking scraggly. There’s something in my brain that makes me overly sensitive to animal pain. I cried watching My Cat From Hell last night just because the cat was deaf and blind. My heart bleeds.

      I’m also very opinionated and outspoken about cat care…I feel like in a vet setting, my mouth would get me into trouble, e.g. people getting their cats declawed. I love the behavior side more than the medical. I’d love to help people understand their cats more, although I never seem to be able to get through to the boyfriend. But then, he’s hardheaded. You are way stronger than me. It’s good that people like you exist. It’s incredibly difficult to be a cat mom with normal cats, let alone ones with special needs, and I’m so glad there are people like you out there. It’s awesome that you’re working on the vet thing!

      I’m definitely going to look into interning. I’ll just email the hell out of anyone I can find until someone gets annoyed with me enough to give guidance. I’m pretty sure there’s no one in my area, my vet said the one she knew of is no longer around. I’m not exactly sure where I would fit interning into my two job schedule either, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it!

  2. CathyB

    I’m not sure if this would be feasible in your area or if this might be too overwhelming, but what about being paid by contract/retainer fee from owners or building managers as a resource for buildings with a number of residences (condos,apts.,independent living for seniors apts.) where people have cats & might need help in getting cats to adjust to their new surroundings & they don’t know who to call? (You’d need to canvass buildings in your area to find managers or owners). Otherwise, I agree with aimee, you need an internship or mentorship position in order for a vet or shelter to recommend you to individuals to assess their homes and to train them about cat ownership. Good luck in this, I think you would be good at this if it’s not too overwhelming for you.

    • MEOWhearthis

      You guys are all right… I need to get out there and just dig in. Find odd jobs. Build a reputation. Thank you for your kind words! I hope that I can make something work.

  3. Boomdeeadda

    I really understand when you say you are overly sensitive to animals. I don’t think I could manage a shelter scenario either unless it was absolutely a no-kill shelter. In most cases, here anyways, it’s all volunteer work.
    We do a fair amount of traveling and had a really hard time finding a GOOD pet sitter. We’ve finally fell in love with our girl and while she also has a full time job, she runs this sitting service too. See wrote us a beautiful postcard when we returned last time and left food mats for the diva’s and emailed us pic’s frequently…above and beyond. I wonder if a person could combine that with pet-taxi service to and from say ‘doggy-daycare’ or to kitties vet appointments. So many people I know work super early and late and pay someone to come walk their pets and get them to daycare and what not. I think there’d be lots of opportunity. It’d be a place to start with very little financial investment, if you got in the right social scene you could make a fair bit of money. Business cards at high end gyms, restaurants, travel agents, clubs, dry cleaners (in my mind people who spend oodles on clothes get them dry-cleaned and hence have expendable income for spoiling pets). I believe you may only need a local business licence and be bondable/insured and a reliable vehicle.

    • MEOWhearthis

      That’s not a bad idea! It’s something I would really have to put some thought behind before jumping into, but that’s a good start! Thank you! PS…that is an AWESOME pet sitter.

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